estuary

(redirected from estuarine)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to estuarine: estuarine circulation

estuary

(ĕs`cho͝oĕr'ē), partially enclosed coastal body of water, having an open connection with the ocean, where freshwater from inland is mixed with saltwater from the sea. One type of estuary, called a drowned river valley, can be caused by crustal subsidence or a rise in sea level. Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest estuaries of this type in the United States and was formed during the melting of the Pleistocene ice sheets (see Pleistocene epochPleistocene epoch
, 6th epoch of the Cenozoic era of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table). According to a classification that considered its deposits to have been formed by the biblical great flood, the epoch was originally called the Quaternary.
..... Click the link for more information.
). Fjordsfjord
or fiord
, steep-sided inlet of the sea characteristic of glaciated regions. Fjords probably resulted from the scouring by glaciers of valleys formed by any of several processes, including faulting and erosion by running water.
..... Click the link for more information.
, or drowned glacial troughs, form similar types of estuaries, particularly in Norway, Alaska, New Zealand, and other glaciated, mountainous coastal regions. Salt marshes and lagoons found behind barrier beaches, such as along the south shore of Long Island, and down faulted sections of the earth's crust, such as San Francisco Bay, are additional types of estuaries. The shape of an estuary affects the height of the tide; some estuaries (such as the Severn and the Bay of Fundy) are characterized by a wavelike tidal borebore,
inrush of water that advances upstream with a wavelike front, caused by the progress of incoming tide from a wide-mouthed bay into its narrower portion. The tidal movement tends to be retarded by friction as it reaches the shallower water and meets the river current; it
..... Click the link for more information.
. Estuaries represent one of the most sensitive and ecologically important habitats on earth. They provide sanctuary for many species of waterfowl, store nutrients for larval and juvenile marine life, and serve as breeding grounds for many desirable species of ocean fish. Since estuaries commonly provide excellent harbors, most of the large ports in the United States (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Mobile, Galveston, Seattle, and San Francisco) are located in estuaries. However, the development of high-density population centers causes deleterious effects that can destroy the very properties of the estuary that made development of the region possible. Human impact on estuaries includes reclamation of tidal land by filling; pollution from sewage, solid waste, industrial effluent, and hot water; increased sedimentation filling the estuary; and alteration of the salinity of estuarine waters by withdrawal or increased influx of freshwater. Increasingly, federal and state governments are passing legislation to protect estuarine environments.

Estuary

 

a single-channel, funnel-shaped seaward end of a river that widens toward the sea. Estuaries form in cases where the sediment carried by the river is removed by sea currents or tidal movements and the adjacent part of the sea is very deep. In such cases no sediment is deposited at the mouth, even if the sediment load is large. The Enisei and the Thames are two of the many rivers that have estuaries.

estuary

[′es·chə ‚wer·ē]
(geography)
A semienclosed coastal body of water which has a free connection with the open sea and within which sea water is measurably diluted with fresh water. Also known as branching bay; drowned river mouth; firth.

estuary

1. the widening channel of a river where it nears the sea, with a mixing of fresh water and salt (tidal) water
2. an inlet of the sea
References in periodicals archive ?
Our objectives were to characterize and quantify the fine-scale patterns of movement of individual adult weakfish at seasonal and diel temporal scales within a relatively undisturbed estuarine system (Mullica River-Great Bay estuary, New Jersey).
Jud said he was hurt since "years of groundbreaking work on estuarine lion fish are being completely and intentionally ignored.
It seems likely that large fish and some birds, generally observed in the estuarine lake, would be able to ingest C.
Fishes were collected bimonthly from March 1998 through August 1999 from six sites located along the longitudinal estuarine gradient using a bag seine (6 m x 1.
A 20-minute mini-lecture was presented to the students to introduce three major concepts: (1) the characteristics of estuaries, (2) variations in estuarine circulation patterns, and (3) the nature of plankton.
55 LONG-TERM FISH COMMUNITY STABILITY IN URBAN ESTUARINE EELGRASS HABITAT
This new initiative expands the nearly 400 currently existing public programs in the Park geared toward environmental awareness of its unique estuarine ecosystem.
Pathways of silver uptake and trophic transfer in estuarine organisms.
But, in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change, the Audit has recently built substantial new capacity for long-term reporting on estuarine, coastal and marine habitat extent and distribution at a variety of relevant scales.
These signs of stress are all the more alarming considering the sudden collapse of estuarine ecosystems-including widespread species loss--that can occur when nitrogen levels reach a certain "tipping point.
Per a toxicology maxim, "the dose makes the poison"; a more appropriate conclusion is that exposure to estuarine Pfiesteria in the absence of Pfiesteria-related fish kills is not a risk factor for illness.